Freelance writing might seem easy at the start, but after you read this a complete beginner’s guide to freelance writing, you will understand that to succeed in freelance writing, you must do the following:
- Possess writing skills.
- Find companies that are willing to pay for your services
- Have a goal of reaching out to clients
- Make millions through freelance writing.
If you already have these skills, I think these post is just a refresher for you.
As you will get to realize, doing the 4 things above is never easy, especially when you are just getting started in freelance writing.
As a newbie, it is certain that you will have no portfoli and the network you are going to tap into.
But don’t worry, this article will make it more easier for you.
If you would just read on!
With the tactics I am going to show you in this guide, coupled with the tools and a bit of hustle, you will in no time grab your very first client and zoom off to prove you are worth becoming a freelance writer.
If you are ready, then let’s start writing here!
Meanwhile you can read: What Does It Take To Succeed As A Freelancer?
What is freelance writing?
Freelance writing is simply the process where you write contents in exchange for money and in so doing generate an income source.
Writing contents for money is never an easy task, and it’s likely that you wont be paid thousands for a post.
Moreover, it will take a while before you start to ramp up your clients and earnings.
But what is crucial is that you’ve got to manage all your expectations.
Even when you are vested with this beginner’s guide, it will take you hours of hard work to land your very first client; but then you just have to, else there is no road to success for you as a freelance writer.
That being said, freelance writing is amazingly great as a side hustle; or even a full-time job, because it is filled with so much variety that gives you the opportunity to work from home.
Below are the steps you must forllow to succeed as a freelance writer.
A Complete Beginner’s Guide To Freelance Writing.
1. Build a portfolio to showcase your work.
It’s never an easy task to try and convince an individual or company to pay for your writing, one of the ways you would easil convince them is to showcase your previous works.
The easiest way for you to do this is to start your own blog, or otherwise build a personal website and include a “Work With Me” or ‘Hire A Freelance Writer” page.
You need to have a fantastic portfolio page on your blog or website.
The three things you are going to need for your portfolio are:
- Samples of your writing
- A portfolio page that contains links to the articles you have written, especially for others.
- Information on how people can contact and work with you.
Even if you don’t have money to pay for a domain and hosting for a personal blog or website, you can start by building a free blog on blogspot.
Once you have the blog ready, you can start publishing articles that you will show potential clients who will soon approach you.
Note: if this is your first time of starting a blog, even though it’s a free one; make sure you make it as simple to surf as possible.
Don’t use a too much fancy theme or logo, just try as much as you can to make your blog or website look professional to potential clients who are going to visit there.
But then, it is possible to start a freelance writing career without a blog, but it sure makes it easier to convince clients if you have one because people always seek to be sure they are working with someone who will be able to deliver to their expectations.
2. Have a post published on other people’s blog.
You must do whatever it takes to have a post published on other people’s blog, even if it means giving out your first article for free.
But before you think of sending a free article out to land a post on someone else’s blog, make sure your article contains an out of this world, or not yet found information.
That is to say you’ve got to create an article that’s unique in every sense.
Don’t just source the internet looking for information to squeeze into an article and send to a blogger hoping to be approved for publishing on their blog.
Everywhere on earth there is a conventional idea of doing something, and people think going against it moght land them in hot soup.
But why not be the first to go against that conventional idea and when you achieve a positive result, write about it for others to learn from.
Every freelance clients on the planet knows how difficult it is to write for other people; else they would have written theirselves and have no need of hiring you.
And for that reason, I think the most important aspect or piece of advise in this article is to ensure that you have several write-ups already scattered about the place, if you really want to succeed as a freelance writer.
Even if you have never written a freelance content before, the simple solution to convince clientes that you are capable of doing so is to guest post.
Why newbie freelance writers need to guest post.
- It will help you to do pitching.
- Will give you a valuable writing experience and above all else give you something to put in your portfolio.
- Help to convince others that you are capable of writing for other people.
How can you find blogs to guest post on?
Make sure you start small. Big blogs are likely going to reject ask about or check your traffic analysis on your blog and use that to reject you on grounds of not having enough experience in the field.
So instead of reaching out to big blogs with massive followings, look for smaller blogs; even the ones that are smaller than yours.
The goal is to have something written on someone else’s blog.
Below are the different steps to take to outsource for blogs you can guest post.
- Create a spreadsheet that will help you to drop the names, URLs, and contact emails of the blogs you have found.
- Hit Google search and look for “best personal finance blogs”
- Open the top 10 results, review the blogs, before you put them on your spreadsheet.
- Go to Pinterest and search “personal finance” (or other sub-topic keywords like “budgeting,” “frugality,” or “investing.”)
- Open several pins, and add the blogs you’ve found to your spreadsheet
- Go to Detailed.com and click on your niche (they only have 10 large niches)
- Open those blogs and add them to your spreadsheet (You can start from the bottom of the list, as the top blogs are huge sites that’ll be tough to get guest posts on).
You can use the Chrome extensions Hunter to find bloggers’ email addresses, or just use the contact forms on their site to reach out to them for guest posting.
3. How to Pitch Bloggers for Guest Posts.
Everyone else is using one copy and paste template or the other to achieve this.
But instead of following the trend, make use of the tips below for an effective pitching of bloggers for guest posting.
- Write like a human. Never use scripts, templates, or copy/paste. Instead use proper spelling, grammar, formatting, natural language and moreover make sure you are professional.
- Be brief. Don’t use up to 500 word emails, instead write out the entire email, then cut it in half.
- Be honest and transparent. Make yourself as clear as possible. Ensure the blogger knows in plain language that you are asking for help.
- Be specific. Don’t depend on chance. Rather state exactly what you want and what you are bringing to the table for them, i.e. your content(s).
- Give specific suggestions. Make sure your blog is updated as necessary, no blogger would want to grant favour to a blogger who post once in a month on their blog.
- Always show what benefit is in it for them. Your contact will be thinking of what benefit they are going to get from helping you to guest post when they open the email, so make the benefits of your freelance writing as clear as crystal.
Make your email short and write as if you are writing to a friend or peer, present your offer clearly, and focus on building a genuine relationships that will add value to the other person.
This will give you guest post opportunities.
4. Aim to overdeliver value beyond your clients expectations.
Never forget that what you are after is a lucrative freelance writing career.
The top ways that freelance writers find more work is through referrals and word of mouth. And for that reason you must do what it takes to impress your first potential client.
That means you must aim to overdeliver value beyond your clients expectations.
Below are the top 3 ways that can help you in doing so.
1. Be flexible in your writing
You must aim to reassure your potential clients that you will always be there to make changes, improvements and revisions to the contents you have written for them.
Every blogger who is after guest posts wants every content to be good, so you must be able to reassure them that you are ready and willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen.
2. Share yourcontent once it goes live.
Once your content goes live, you must ensure you share it on ysocial media platforms, send to an email lists and write about the experience on your own blog while linking back to the post.
3. Follow up a week after it’s live
Always follow up your post every now and then after it is published.
Ask your clients how the response from the guest post was and if there is anything you can do to further help.
Even if they are likely not going to come back with anything, at least this will help to show them how dedicated you are in any case.
These interactions are going to be very helpful when you are starting your career as a freelance writer, and help to increase your work opportunities very quickly.
5. Ask for Referrals.
It is certain taht you have no record of past cleints you can reach out to, but then you already have a network of some sort, even if you don’t get to realize it.
There are various ways you can seek to get referrals. For example, search your LinkenIn contacts for people who are like you.
And contact them about getting referrals.
6. How to Specifically Find Individuals Or Companies That Will Pay For Your Freelance Writing.
Now you have a portfolio and have guest post on other people’s blog, so the next step is to find individuals or companies who are willing to pay for your freelance writing.
At this stage, you must not allow anything to make you feel like giving up. You must keep your expectations of receiving several “No’s’ before you can finally get some “Yes” from potential clients.
To be very honest with you, your first paid gig is going to be the toughest and hardest, take it from me!
Freelance writing usually gets a bit more easy as you keep climbing the ladder of success in it. Because by now you have more work to show as a proof as well as more clients to recommend you
Now the trick to finding potential clients or companies that will hire you as freelance writer is to look for other freelance writers who already have enough paid jobs under their belt.
And from there, you will get to discover companies who have a track record for hiring and paying freelance writers.
Here’s what you have to do:
- Search for freelance writers on Google in your niche. You can use a query like [niche] “guest post” + “is a freelance writer”
- Now go to those writers’ websites, and check out their portfolio. Search for their “about” page “work with me” page.
- Browse through their portfolio and note any companies that would be a good fit for you as well!
This is the method that works well when you are trying to find companies that are proven to pay freelance writers.
7. How To Stand out From Other New Freelance Writers.
The best way to stand out from other new freelance writers is to prove to editors that you are a hard worker.
And how do you do this?
To do this, you must do some form of work upfront that could take several forms.
- Make 60-second video that explains your article in great details and include in you pitch.
- Write the article beforehand, and screenshot it to include in your pitch email. Ask them if they’d like to read the entire thing.
- Prepare 3 different article ideas, and do a one-paragraph summary of each idea, as well as 5 different headline alternatives for each.
- Explain how you will promote the article to your audience once it goes live. Are you going to use Social media, email list, or paid promotion?
Make sure all this is specifically linked to what the brand you are pitching stands for.
Related post: 10 Best Paying Freelance Jobs You Can Secure Online.
8. Organize Your “Freelance System”.
Another thing that companies want from their freelance writers is their freelance sstem.
Which differs from just the writing.
Your freelance system might include but not limited to the following:
- Hours to spend on finishing the writing.
- Sending invoices and collect payments.
These might somehow not sound challenging until the time comes to do such administrative tasks.
Also make sure you don’t neglect the administrative side of freelancing. The amount of “backend” work often surprises new freelance writers!
Be prepared, make things easier on yourself, and aim to show your clients how professional you are.
Finally let’s recap all we have learnt in this article for easy remembrance and understanding.
- You must set up a portfolio, that is a blog or website to showcase your content and include your contact method.
- Have contents you have already published. Guest posting is a sure-fire way to ge published.
- Source for companies that are known to pay freelance writers.
- Use the outreach principles outlined in this article to stand out from the crowds and land your first gig.
- Do everything humanly possible to get that first gig and overdeliver value in any way you can. This will help with word of mouth referrals.
- No matter how hard things might get, you are banned from giving up.
The path to making income through your writing is not an easy one, butwith a bit of hustle and patient, you will soon wear a big smile when your account begins to gro fat from income generated from freelance writing.
It’s time to execute!